DASV (Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence)

The NHS Devon strategy on domestic abuse and sexual violence includes training for everyone working in General Practice. You can find out more about the training and about the other resources we can offer you on this page.

For further information about the support offered by NHS Devon safeguarding team please see

Interpersonal Trauma Response Service

The Interpersonal Trauma Response (ITR) Service provides emotional and practical support to:

  • Adults who have experienced domestic and/or sexual violence/abuse
  • Children who have experienced domestic abuse
  • People who are concerned about their own behaviour in relationships

The team are also able to support people working in general practice who have experienced domestic abuse or sexual violence.

Support is provided by a named Trauma Practitioner linked to each surgery so that they can become embedded within your team. The Trauma Practitioner will support identified patients as well as being able to provide expert support and consultation regarding MARAC referrals and other Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (DASV) related queries.

The following film tells you more about the service.

Film https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4Sny5n4pHY

Training Offer:

The linked practitioner will train GP surgeries in a range of areas surrounding DASV, including how to manage respectful inquiries.

Training is broken down into three modules and delivery is flexibly tailored to meet the surgeries needs. The key learning outcomes of each module are:

Module 1:

Have a greater understanding of DASV and its impact on health and wellbeing.

Have the skills and confidence to ask about trauma, DASV and respond appropriately to disclosures.

Understanding roles and responsibilities.

Module 2:

Have an understanding of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Forced Marriage and so-called ‘Honour Based Violence’.

Understand risk and safety around DASV.

Know about MARAC and how the Trauma Practitioner can support your Practice. 

Module 3:

The impact of DASV on children

Understanding the cycle of abuse.

Increased awareness of perpetrators and the help available to them.

Grounding techniques, the work of the Trauma Practitioner and the provision of safety & stabilisation sessions.

For more information please see the ITR Service website: https://www.fear-less.org.uk/itrs-for-professionals/

Or email ITRS@fear-less.org.uk

Understanding the impact of domestic abuse and sexual violence:

How does coercive control develop? A powerful 11 minute film on abusive relationships: Love

Domestic abuse and sexual violence policy:

Each practice should have a policy on domestic abuse and sexual violence (DASV), setting out how DASV will be responded to, how colleagues affected by abuse personally will be supported and explaining options for patients and staff.  NHS Devon have produced a template policy which you can adopt or adapt. Click here for the toolkit.

Non-Fatal Strangulation:

Strangulation is common in interpersonal violence. In domestic abuse, up to 44% of victims report having been strangled. In sexual violence, 1 in 11 adults reporting rape also describe strangulation as part of the assault. This rose to 1 in 5 when the alleged rapist was a partner or ex-partner. NFS is important because it significantly increases the risk of being killed; homicide reviews show victims of NFS are 7 times more likely to be killed at a later date.

Domestic Homicide Reviews:

Domestic Homicide Reviews (DHRs) are held when a person dies, and domestic abuse has been the cause or a contributing factor.  The process seeks to identify learning so that our approaches are improved, and further deaths prevented.

The DHR reports for each local authority can be found via these links:

Devon https://saferdevon.co.uk/domestic-homicide-reviews/

Torbay https://www.torbay.gov.uk/council/policies/community-safety/dhrs/

Plymouth https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/safer-plymouth

If your Practice is involved in a DHR, NHS Devon can offer guidance and support.  You can access this webinar which explains the process here

Referring to MARAC

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